Real talk, friends. My son and husband have been sick on and off for about three weeks now, and today the both got diagnosed with ear infections. I’m behind in laundry. I keep discovering surfaces in my house that are sticky with unknown substances. I’ve eaten way more crappy food than I care to admit simply because it is fast and easy. This is how life is sometimes. Messy. Yucky. Challenging.
In the midst of the mess, was the second “designated” day for the Day in the Life, a project spearheaded by Ali Edwards, where we are challenged to document the details of one day. It’s not a special day. It’s not a holiday. It’s just a day. Right now my life is messy. It’s sticky. It’s filled with snot and coughs and crying. But each day also has moments of joy, and this is the true beauty of this project. The invitation to be present in the mess. To be present in the mundane. To be present in the nitty, gritty, gross, fun, silly, belly-laugh moments of one day.
I haven’t historically liked the creation of these layouts. I have previously found them tedious, and even a little boring. I have been anxious to scrapbook about a big hike, or a recent trip, something fun, something flashy. However, as I have completed a few of these Day in the Life and Week in the Life projects, I have come to a realization. These projects are a gift to my future self. I absolutely LOVE going back to these albums and layouts and looking at the snapshot of what life was like at that specific moment in time. I love to see how things change, and what I was struggling with. I love being reminded of the fact that I was really craving peanut butter and jelly English muffins when I was eight weeks pregnant. I love seeing those boring, mundane details. Because these, truly, are the stuff of real life.
In order to try and make the layouts a little more interesting for me to compete this time, I tried playing with different elements from the recent Product Play 3, and playing with products and processes I’ve been enjoying recently, such as adding dimension, and playing more with my stamps. I chose to complete this project in a hybrid style this year, mostly because I knew that during the first DITL in February, I would have a five month old, and the ease of literally just filling in journaling and popping in photos in Photoshop was the only way this was going to get done. For this November day, I was able to be a bit more crafty, and added elements from the recent Foodie kit, the Baby, Rest, Tough, and Watch Story Kits from Ali Edwards, the amazing Freshly Baked stamp set from Kelly Purkey, and some stickers from both Ali Edwards and Studio Calico. I like that the Hybrid approach allows for so much freedom and flexibility.
One way I added dimension for this project was to use Avery index tabs. Ali talked about finding more space in a smaller album by using folded page protectors to either add or hide journaling, or to add more space for photos. I used this technique on two of my pages for this day.
Another way I added dimension was by using pop dots. These adhesive dots allow for various elements to literally POP off the page. I have really enjoyed using these in my layouts recently, especially to add emphasis to stamps.
Finally, I have stuck with the pledge I made to myself to use my stamps more, and I dug into my stamp box frequently for this project. It has been fun finding just the “right” stamp for any given layout.
All in all, I found this November edition of Day in the Life much more enjoyable than those past. It is still a gift to my future self, and one I will come back to again and again.